Whittington, Tanned, Rested, And Ready…

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…is making a statement right now. Looking like a hundred dollars at least. If you've got cable, check it out.

Video available here.

The most interesting comment was Whittington's apology to Cheney. But at this point, since he looked great, this story is pretty much over except as a permanent entry in the voluminous annals of vice-presidential embarrassment.

If you're interested in remaining unanswered questions, here's a non-comprehensive list. Plus a rant touching on the discrepancies between Cheney's "one beer" comment and Whittington's claim in the police report that no alcohol was served on the hunting trip.

The real story of Dick Whittington, on the other hand, is readily available.

After a weeklong bump into the double digits, the Dick Cheney June 30 retirement futures at intrade.com have plummeted; they're now below where they were before the shooting. The December futures are still up slightly, but losing ground fast. So the real question in this "accidental" shooting is cui bono?

I dissected the Cheney-as-puppet-master theme back when the Cheney retirement rumor was just a glimmer on one of Condi's dominatrix boots.

NEXT: "I will punch anyone who calls me a conservative in the nose. I am a radical."

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  1. Why won’t you live-blog it for us?

  2. He looked pretty intact for a 78-year-old Republican. Guess it takes SILVER buckshot to keep ’em down …

  3. I can’t believe he didn’t take the opportunity to stop halfway through a word, freeze for a second, and fall face-first onto the lectern.

    How could he resist such an opportunity to make fun of a bunch of people taking themselves too seriously?

  4. I’d still rather go hunting with Dick than driving with Ted.

    hi-yo!!

  5. I saw the video on CNBC. I could just barely make out the laser trained on his forehead as he read his statement.

    He apologized for the trouble Cheney’s had to deal with? Fantastic. Republicans are such zombies.

  6. “Guess it takes SILVER buckshot to keep ’em down …”

    It was BIRDSHOT, for christ sakes. Why the fuck would one go hunting quail with buckshot?

    And why is the media making such a big deal of this event that in no way affects our government.

  7. Cheney should have pulled up with the guy tied to his car roof.

  8. Because the VP was drunk, shot somebody in the face, then tried to cover up the fact that he was drunk (along with trying to blame it on the victim).

    The character of our leaders very much affects our government, andy.

  9. “And why is the media making such a big deal of this event that in no way affects our government.”

    Because that’s what the media does: makes a big deal of things—regardless of whether or not they “affect our government”. Since when is “affecting our government” a prerequisite for big media coverage? Please, don’t be so naive.

    The Daily Show had a Fox News montage this morning, with O’Really? and a bunch of other FNC talking heads blathering on about how it’s no big deal, get over it, who cares. Then Jon showed the only other thing that FNC covered yesterday with any vigor: the extradition of some guy Entwhistle who matters much, much less.

    Mainstream Media is infotainment, nothing more. Most people want to hear about the deputy leader of the free world shooting someone in the face because he mistook him for a small captive bird. That infotainment, baby. Stop it with the “oh, how could they!?” act.

  10. Why the fuck would one go hunting quail with buckshot?

    You haven’t seen the quail in Texas.

    Because the VP was drunk, shot somebody in the face, then tried to cover up the fact that he was drunk (along with trying to blame it on the victim).

    There was zero evidence Cheney was drunk. Zero. He also never tried to blame Whittington, but instead took full responsibility.

    God knows there’s enough to bitch about in this administration without making up lies.

    He apologized for the trouble Cheney’s had to deal with? Fantastic. Republicans are such zombies.

    Whittington believes that he violated the rules for keeping the shooting line safe, and is sorry for all the trouble his friend has gone through. In some circles, this is called taking responsibility and being a gentleman.

  11. Andy,

    Lighten up. You missed Madscribe’s joke. SILVER is used to kill vampires and protect us from evil. Geez…

  12. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but has any guy ever had *one* beer?

  13. RC,
    How could there be evidence he was drunk? He had his SS guys shoo the deputy away, and didn’t allow them to do something that any hunting accident requires: full drug/alcohol screen for the shooter. We already know he’s admitting to having a beer a mere 3 or so hours before he blasted the attorney, even though he says “nobody was drinking.”

    Oops.

    After the “incident” he went back and fixed himself a highball in obvious full view of the other members of his party, just in case the sheriffs grew some Co Jones and came back and demanded that he do what everyone in a similar situation is expected to do.

    If you want lies you need to take a good hard look at the numerous holes in his explanation, employing Occam’s Razor to find the simplest explanation.

    I’ll give you a hint: It’s not the one he offered.

  14. “Lighten up. You missed Madscribe’s joke. SILVER is used to kill vampires and protect us from evil. Geez…”

    Man, am I out of the loop. I thought that Madscribe’s reference was to The People’s Party platform. . . .

    Or, to the supporters of the Pittman Act. . . .

    Or, the agrarian New Dealers in 1934.

  15. He also never tried to blame Whittington, but instead took full responsibility.

    Uhmm, the initial reaction by anyone close to Cheney who was talking to media was the implication that Whittington was at fault because he didn’t announce his return to the hunting party. That to many people that in fact trying to blame Whittington. Maybe Cheney never said it himself, but his inner circle did seem to be acting as a mouthpiece for him.

    Whittington believes that he violated the rules for keeping the shooting line safe, and is sorry for all the trouble his friend has gone through. In some circles, this is called taking responsibility and being a gentleman.

    Yes and in circles that aren’t GOP fluffers its called covering the ass for your high powered friend. It helps to feed the narrative of it’s his own fault Dick Cheney shot him. I’m sure Whittington will have a favor owed to him for maintaining the narrative.

  16. Thank god he finally apologized for being shot. Why did he wait so long to apologize, do you think?

  17. Whatever else might be said about various things, I don’t fault Whittington for his statement.

  18. Uh, he held off apologizing to the Vice President for several days, allowing the VP to twist in the wind. That shows quite a lot of arrogance. He was rested and talking almost right after he was shot. Why couldn’t he take responsibility for his actions then?

  19. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but has any guy ever had *one* beer?

    I did, just last night. After my martini and my scotch on the rocks.

    The guy does look pretty good. I might try that “shot in the face” treatment when I’m 78.

  20. Silver kills werewolves, not vampires. Jeez, I thought nerds hung out here.

  21. Clearly, Cheney was possessed by alien pod people when he shot Whittington. Cuz, you know, there’s no evidence that he wasn’t. The Secret Service always covers up alien possessions.

    thoreau, no entry for the “The Top 100 Things I’d Do if I Ever Became a Libertarian President” on the “The Most Important Guy They’ve Never Heard Of” thread? I expected you, of all commenters, to participate 🙁

  22. Resurrected from another thread like the shambling corpse that is Dick Cheney:

    However, let’s review the facts of the case:
    1. Dick Cheney is, well, a “Dick.”
    2. Dick Cheney thinks he’s right about everything and never at fault for anything – even when he does something completely blameworthy, like, say… shooting a friend of his in the face with a shotgun!
    3. Dick Cheney is so sure he’d never make a mistake or do anything wrong that he ACTUALLY tried to blame the guy HE shot for getting shot!
    4. Dick Cheney, like any other self-important “Dick,” is absolutely sure he’s right about everything and regularly resorts to profanity when he (rapidly and frequently) runs out of counter-arguments.
    Obviously, Dick Cheney IS Ken Schultz!
    I mean, it’s so obvious I can’t believe I never noticed that they even have the same number of letters in their names:
    Ken Schultz
    Dic kCheney
    Ok, powering down the “Conspiracy theory generator (trademark of DCKS Inc.)”

  23. I thought silver bullets were for killing werewolves, not vampires.

    plunge, the guy had surgery and a minor heart attack. unless you’re being facetious, give him a break.

    Murray, at least Ted knows how to get the job done while limiting collateral damage, unlike Dick (see: Iraq War I, Iraq War II)

  24. The original post has been updated. Cast your eyes skyward, Geronimo.

  25. If you want lies you need to take a good hard look at the numerous holes in his explanation, employing Occam’s Razor to find the simplest explanation.

    His story is that he had one beer with lunch. I’ve done that myself. He also had a drink after a traumatic experience. I’ve done that myself also.

    I don’t see how Occam’s Razor points us to the conclusion that he was drinking all day.

    Exactly what makes Cheney’s rather simple story more convoluted that your theory that he was hammered and everyone is covering up? Do you even know what Occam’s Razor is?

    Other than your belief that, if Dick Cheney is involved, then the most lurid explanation must be the most likely, what basis is there for concluding that he is lying?

  26. Exactly what makes Cheney’s rather simple story more convoluted that your theory that he was hammered and everyone is covering up?

    Don’t fire any birdshot at me over this, but the fact that the one-beer claim contradicts what Whittington told the cops means at least one of their stories isn’t true. Combine that with the delay in talking with the police, and I’d say the tipsy-at-least story is not beyond the realm of believability, and explains most or all the lacunae in the story.

    I don’t even care. I think America’s always better off with a drinking White House, and I applaud whatever Cheney’s doing to counteract Bush’s abstinence. But out of simple self-respect I can’t say the booze angle here has been cleared up to anybody’s satisfaction.

  27. PL-

    I just made a contribution to the thread.

  28. First, I’m glad the guy Cheney shot is recovering.

    Second, the fact that no quail were harmed during the making of this incident amuses me and other anti-hunting types to no end.

    Third, while this is a story that has run its course, I think the entire affair is a perfect metaphor for the Bush Administration’s Middle East policy: shoot first, aim later.

  29. And I ripped off your idea. There’s no loyalty among freedom-loving peoples, it appears. Only 87 more to go before 2008. Must be a major work day–I expected more contributions by now 🙁 Of course, I’m able to waste time with this sort of nonsense because all I’m doing is reading–in an unbillable manner–about why Wal-Mart shouldn’t get a bank charter (I don’t agree with what I’m reading, by the way).

  30. To clarify:

    Jeffrey Rosenberg: The second way to kill a vampire, Count: three silver bullets through the heart!
    Cindy: Jeffrey!
    (Jeff shoots Dracula three times)
    Dracula: No, Rosenberg, that is a werewolf.
    Rosenberg: A werewolf? Really? Are you sure?
    (Police arrive)
    Rosenberg: No harm done! The man’s all right! This was for a werewolf! No problem! Calm down! Take it easy! I’m a doctor!

  31. Any post linking to a shot of Condi in dom boots is OK by me.

  32. Can we at least agree that if someone who is not an asshole shoots a friend, they’ll at least go to the hospital with them (not necessarily in the ambulance) and wait to see how he’s doing out of, you know, respect for, you know, the friend you just shot?

    Can we agree that if you decide to have dinner instead and pop in later to check in on the friend you shot, you’re at least kind of an asshole?

    Even if Cheney weren’t a lying little pussy, even if I agreed with him on any political issue, hell, even if I admired every decision he’d made so far, choosing to have dinner instead of going to the hospital with the friend he just shot would still make him an asshole.

    That’s just me. Are my “not an asshole” standards too high?

  33. Les-

    My mother is a nurse in a rural ER. She sees a lot of hunting accidents. Having dinner is not an option for most shooters. The police are busy asking questions.

  34. Just a few comments:

    My very Republican, Texan, avid hunter father-in-law more or less stated he wouldn’t be within 500 yards of Dick Cheney if Dick had a gun. I’m not sure if it was the “Tracking the bird behind him” part or the “It was kinda Whittlington’s fault” part that irritated him, but he’s big on gun safety and seems to be fairly convinced Dick’s dangerous with a gun. He doesn’t like canned hunts either.

    Secondly — not even CLOSE to dominatrix boots. Everyone wears boots like that these days. If you want to be a pro about it, they need to at least go over the need and have higher heels. That’s the problem with America today — no standards.

  35. BP – sometimes there’s only one left? 😉

  36. How is it that in a discussion about shotguns, vampires, werewolves, and appropriate methods for killing the latter two, nobody’s brought up the classic 1987 movie The Monster Squad?

    “Wolfman’s got nards!”

  37. Whittington’s not going to be stealing any more watermelons, I’ll betcha.

  38. The Daily Show link is hilarious. I especially loved the recreation using “Duck Hunt” on the old NES.

    Satire 1, Fox News 0

  39. But at this point, since he looked great, this story is pretty much over except as a permanent entry in the voluminous annals of vice-presidential embarrassment.

    As a news item, the story is dead, but as a late-night comic’s punchline, it will live on. I mean, 8 years on they get still mileage off of Clinton’s peccadillos.

  40. goddammit. Drac!

    Love at First Bite!

    you beat me to a reference to it 🙂
    (now, does Dick like having his ankles licked?)
    cheers!

    VM

  41. if you decide to have dinner instead

    It’s not nice to let food go to waste. There’s kids starving in India. More gravy?

  42. Other than your belief that, if Dick Cheney is involved, then the most lurid explanation must be the most likely, what basis is there for concluding that he is lying?

    RC, the one beer theory fits all of the facts except this one:

    He didn’t let the police test him for alcohol/drugs.

    He and Bush and the rest of this mendacious gang are all about the “If you don’t have anything to hide, what are you worrying about” line.

    If he didn’t have anything to hide, wouldn’t he want the police to test him, in order to provide unequivocal documentation of same?

    RC, can you think of another explanation for that?

    What would we think of an average person who had just shot someone, yet refused to be tested for alcohol/drugs? And what dank cell would that ordinary individual most likely be occupying at this moment had they refused?

    So, not only is this the simplest explanation; it is the only one that makes sense.

  43. Andrew Sullivan just posted a link to an on-line game replicating the Veep’s hunting prowess. Worth a look, especially since it’s Friday afternoon.

  44. Thanks, Karen, best laugh I’ve had all day

  45. “Other than your belief that, if Dick Cheney is involved, then the most lurid explanation must be the most likely, what basis is there for concluding that he is lying?”

    Cops pull two guys out of a car. They bring them to separate places. They ask the driver, how much have you had to drink, and he says, one beer.

    They ask the passenger, how much did the driver have to drink, and he says, we weren’t drinking any alcohol at all, officer.

    What you’ve got there is a reasonable suspicion that the driver has had a few drinks.

  46. I had one beer at lunch today. Of course, I didn’t shoot anybody after lunch.

  47. If we had had vidiocams then, would Alexander Hamilton have gasped–over there in Weehawken, NJ–that, yes, he had been a little too over the top with the bad-mouthing of Aaron Burr?

  48. This is a stupid question, but why do we have laws that cops have to check people for alcohol intoxication after you shoot someone? I mean, if you are hunting with someone who’s drinking and carrying a gun, isn’t that saying that you really don’t care about your own safety (don’t get me wrong, Cheney’s an idiot for not clearing his line of fire) and so it’s your own ass?
    I mean, what are other areas that you can get an extra fine/jailtime for being intoxicated and doing an activity?
    Another stupid question, does this mean everytime that I harm someone, even accidentaly, that the cops are going to have to throw me in the pokey?

  49. Silver kills werewolves, not vampires. Jeez, I thought nerds hung out here.

    In many tellings, silver hurts vampires, to. Marvel comics used that premise (which is why the Blade movies involve silver weapons and silver compounds, for one).

  50. Frank A.,

    Because an accident becomes negligent when it happens because you failed to behave with sufficient caution. Such as drinking and then shooting stuff.

    No, it doesn’t. People still get charged with vehicular manslaughter for killing the passengers in their car.

    Driving, and pretty much any potentially dangerous activity.

    No, there would have to be evidence of negligence.

  51. “any hunting accident requires: full drug/alcohol screen for the shooter”

    really? please cite me the relevant Texas state Statute that requires a “full drug/alcohol” screen for a shooter in a suspected hunting accident.

    i’ll standby. i love the way people just MAKE stuff up, including criminal statutes, to support their ideological hatred of cheney.

    Hint: there is no such statute in Texas.

  52. coachacola:Andy,

    Lighten up. You missed Madscribe’s joke. SILVER is used to kill vampires and protect us from evil. Geez…

    No silver is used to kill werewolves. That’s it I’m not taking you or Cheney hunting ever!

  53. whit,
    Go shoot somebody in Texas, and when they come to test you for alcohol/drugs, tell them to come back tomorrow, that you just can’t today.

    Before you do that I need to tell you that I:

    1) Won’t come bail your stupid ass out of jail, and
    2) Won’t come testify that you were dumb enough to believe you wouldn’t have to take the test.
    but
    3) Will have to give you credit for putting your money where your mouth is.

    Good Luck!

  54. i love the way people just MAKE stuff up, including criminal statutes, to support their ideological hatred of cheney.

    Just for the record, no one should hate Cheney because of his ideology. They should hate him because he’s a lying (so many since 9/11), cowardly (he had other priorities during the war in Viet Nam, which he strongly supported) asshole (hey, if you choose to eat dinner after shooting your friend instead of going to the hospital, there’s no way around it, you’re an asshole).

    Ideology has nothing to do with it.

  55. Go shoot somebody in Texas, and when they come to test you for alcohol/drugs,…

    If I’m not mistaken, unlike a DUI arrest, that’s actually covered by that pesky old Fifth Amendment.

  56. way to evade the issue guys. there is no statutory authority to demand somebody involved in a HUNTING ACCIDENT submit to a drug/alcohol test.

    your post, Mr “what a dick” completely evade your ignorance of the law. and is intellectually dishonest. there is NO SUCH LAW IN TEXAS.

    Isaac, the issue with DUI’s is not the 5th amendment (which applies to testimonial evidence per the SCOTUS – bac is not testimonial evidenve, it is direct evidence), but the 4th amendment – unreasonable search and seizure. even in DUI’s, you are generally not COMPELLED to submit to a breath or blood test, and your refusal can result in ADMINISTRATIVE issues, not criminal issues. there is no crime to not submit to a test, generally speaking. since driver’s licenses are not a RIGHT (check the const. it’s not there), it is arguably reasonable for the DOL to take admin. action against your driving PRIVILEGE, if you are arrested pursuant to PC for DUI, and you refuse a breath sample.

    regardless, i noted the evasion from the other poster. there is no law in texas compelling a breath/blood sample from somebody in a frigging HUNTING ACCIDENT.
    that’s the law, despite people’s hatred of cheney.

  57. You didn’t really need to explain anything to me, whit.

    And, Les, I do hate Cheney because of his ideology (or more properly his politics) but I’ve heard more bullshit in the last few days from people who don’t know birdshot from birdshit.

  58. In other words to paraphrase from another “scandal”, sometimes a hunting accident is just a hunting accident.

    Even if the guy involved is a royal asshole.

  59. isaac, yours was not the post i had issue with, although i do think the 4th vs. 5th distinction is relevant.

    this is just yet another example of how when people don’t LIKE an individual, or his policies, etc. that logic is tossed out the door as is consistency and fairness. even among (gasp) libertarians. it’s a frigging hunting accident. in my jurisdiction, for instance, there is NO law requiring one report a hunting accident to the police – period. hospitals are required to report gsw’s of course, but that is not the issue here.

    there were multiple witnesses to this accident, and most importantly – the victim was alive, so there is no need to immediately commence an investigation (like there would be in the case of death), since the victim can speak for himself (which is not the case in a death investigation – obviously – accidental or not), and the basic “nature’ of the incident was known at the time it happened, and was corroborated (and corroboratable) by sources other than cheney – whittington, etc..

    also, i would expect this from many in the media (who tend to be not such big fans of guns and gun rights), but the only difference between this and many other sorts of accidents is the presence of – lord forbid- a FIREARM. we need to look at this without going “oh my god, he used a gun, therefore we need six levels of investigation because guns are icky and dangerous”.

  60. fact that the one-beer claim contradicts what Whittington told the cops means at least one of their stories isn’t true

    Oh for Christ’s sake. I couldn’t tell you what any of the people I had lunch with three days ago had to drink, and I’m not 78 years old and haven’t suffered a gunshot wound and a heart attack in the meantime.

    There’s nothing memorable about someone having one beer hours before you go out to do something else. That’s the rational explanation for why Whittington didn’t remember it.

  61. excellent point, db

    fwiw, any experienced investigator knows that if witness accounts jibe perfectly – THEY ARE LYING. because people remember things differently, and even – lord forbid – misremember, especially minor details, which aint lying, but human fallibility.

    certainly how many beers cheney had is a perfect example of this. if it was a gross disparity, that would indicate deception. furthermorem what EXACTLY did whittington say. i’d like the exact quote. again, props to db for a good point, and proof positive yet again that ideologues will throw logic to the wind when an enemy is in the crosshairs

  62. joe,

    But what is the difference between causing an accident and negligence.
    Look, if you’re in a hunt, and you go off for a second and return back, like Whittington did, then you need to tell the group that you’re back especially in a high risk sport like quail hunting.
    Cheney is aslo partly responsible for this accident not clearing his line of fire (which is a DUMBASS thing to do), but is he directly negligible if a hunting partner does not acknowledge his presence? Furthermore, if he’s worried about scaring off the quail by using his voice, Whittington could always creep up to Cheney , directly behind him (since it’s inlikely that Cheney can spin his torso 180 degress) and then tap him on the shoulder.
    Therefore, if Cheney is negligent, then I could say that Whittington is negligent too, and that both are involved in a self-acknowledged dangerous activity, so why would the cops need to get involved in a hunting accident, as opposed to say a farming accident where a son mauls his father with a tractor, or something…

  63. in many, if not most accidents there are levels of negligence/culpability in both parties involved. vehicle collisions are a perfect example of this. usually, one party is mostly/clearly at fault, but in many cases there are contributory factors as well on the other part – that is why defensive drivers get in fewer accidents, because they go proactively against the bad drivers.

    like i said earlier, in many jurisdictions, the cops DON’T “need” to get involved in hunting accidents, or any sort of industrial accident as well, as long as no death is involved.

    all the people seem to key off of the GUN issue, thus it’s a cop issue. not necessarily.

    also, in regards to negligence, there are basically 3 levels/definitions. there is criminal negligence (certainly not an issue here – as in negligent homicide cases. criminal negligence is “more” negligent than mere civil negligence), civil negligence (i’ll sue you, Mr!) and then just the layman’s version of the term.

    i have been a firearms instructor, so i have a little bit of background understanding here. based on what i know thus far, i see no evidence whatsoever that there would have been criminal negligence, if whittington died.

    could cheney be sued for civil negligence? sure. you can sue a ham sandwich.

    but realistically speaking, it’s an accident. cheney rightly IS the primary party here as far as any negligence goes, it sounds like whittington had a little bit as well, and in the end – it’s a frigging accident. that’s it. big whoop.

    air america et al (i listened today – why – entertainment) is still going on with their conspiracy theories etc. but it is SO much not an issue. these kind of hunting accidents are a non-issue. the only difference is that this one happens to involve a VP, so it’s a “big deal”

  64. So how many days can you leave raw chicken in the fridge until it goes bad?

    I’m sorry, was that off topic?

  65. well, to paraphrase Chris Rock, it’s not the red meat that will kill you. it’s the green meat

    hth

  66. Frank A,

    “But what is the difference between causing an accident and negligence?”

    To be negligent, you actually have to commit an act (or an act of omission) that is crosses some line of expected appropriate caution.

    Whether that act or failure counts as criminal, civil, or layman’s-term negligence depends on the circumstances.

    I don’t really know enough about bird hunting, or the details of this event, to say whether Cheny, Whittington or anybody else was acting with what degree of negligence – just pointing out that going hunting while drunk would be a negligent thing to do.

  67. going hunting while drunk would definitely be negligent, and since injury resulted – that would be civilly actionable certainly. i’ve been a firearms instructor before, so i’m kind of familiar with a lot of the case law.

    of course, there is no evidence that cheney was drunk , but speaking hypothetically…

  68. This is not a story. Get it? It’s not a story.

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